Talladega race story

Martin Captures Winston 500 at Talladega TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Mark Martin captured the caution-free Winston 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event at Talladega Superspeedway Saturday beating Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Labonte and ...

Martin Captures Winston 500 at Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Mark Martin captured the caution-free Winston 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event at Talladega Superspeedway Saturday beating Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Labonte and polesitter John Andretti to the finish line after a thrilling last-lap scramble. The Winston 500 was run without a caution for the first time in the event's 28-year history. The absence of caution flag laps resulted in a record average speed of 188.354 mph, breaking Bill Elliott's all-time NASCAR Winston Cup race record of 186.288 mph set here in the 1985 Winston 500. Martin won his second consecutive NASCAR Winston Cup Series race of the season and the 20th of his career. The race came down to a last-lap shootout among a tight draft of seven cars. Martin was able to fend off numerous late-lap pass attempts by Earnhardt to win by a mere .146 seconds. "Earnhardt had a really fast race car," said Martin. "When he first got into second place there right at the end, he made a couple of runs and I figured he had enough to beat me. But after about two or three laps things kind of settled down. I thought maybe if I make the right moves that I can hold him off." Talladega Superspeedway lived up to its tradition of being NASCAR's most competitive Superpeedway as the race saw no less than 26 lead changes among 13 drivers. The final and most significant lead change of the race took place on lap 158 when Martin passed Jeff Gordon in turn three of the 2.66-mile Superspeedway. Dale Earnhardt who was searching for his first victory in over a year led the most laps on the day but fell just short in his attempt at victory. "We were just sitting there in line, but we just couldn't muster enough," said Earnhardt. "Bobby (Labonte) was trying to help me all he could. Mark's (Martin) car was just too tough. We had a good day coming home second. It's about time we had a good day like this one." Jeff Gordon failed in his attempt to capture the second leg of The Winston Million as he came home fifth. Martin won $92,220 in victory. -- 30 -- MEDIA CONTACT: Talladega PR, (205) 761-4705

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , John Andretti , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Labonte , Mark Martin